Could you tell us a bit about yourself, and your work?
I’m an artist working in Printmedia in Toronto. I just graduated from NSCAD (Nova Scotia College of Art and Design) with a degree in Interdisciplinary Fine Arts, which for me means mostly a combination of printmaking and photography, with some video and installation work mixed in.
I’m particularly interested in the relationship between identity and place. The urban environment is always in a stated of flux, constantly being constructed and deconstructed; built up, and torn down. Different elements of it come through at different times – whether it’s the time of day you experience it, or how you move through the space. I like to explore places that are overlooked. I try to capture the experience of place from a very subjective standpoint. The buildings that inspire me are ones I walk past everyday. They’re familiar, but abstracted, unplaceable, and I like that sense of disorientation
What initially drew you to printmaking?
My dad, who’s also an artist, used to say that if you could talk anyone out of a career in the arts you were doing them a favor. I think maybe the same is true of printmaking. It’s an amazing medium, but the people who stick with it are the ones who have fallen in love with it and have some rather perverse need to do things in this long, painstaking way.
As a somewhat impatient person it seems like an odd choice. But the process itself enables, and forces, a certain amount of consideration, and stepping back. I always begin with a plan, but although certain parts of the plan are fixed, there’s a lot of flexibility, and the pieces always develop into something I could never have predicted as I work on them. Because prints evolve slowly, especially the more layers are involved, there are a lot of opportunities for revision, or for reflecting on the work in progress and changing things as you go along. The ability to make the same image multiple times with different colour combinations is also something that really draws me to the medium.
Works like Almon No. 1 show an interesting interplay between photography and lithography, what was the inspiration for this series of work?
I think the inspiration for these more recent pieces was a push to integrate my photographic and printmaking practices. Prior to this series I’d gone back to working from sketches in my print work, and had completely segregated my printmaking from my photography. One of the things that did was to really allow me to play with techniques in printmaking, and kind of find a style, and process that worked for me in print, while concurrently finding a new approach to subject matter and composition through my photography.
In this new work I was really interested in bridging the gap between these two disparate practices. I realized that much of the inspiration for my work came from my photography – which was where my interested in structure, form, materiality, and light was really coming from – but the printmaking element really allowed me to play with the image – to manipulate and reinterpret it.
My work focuses on captuing my own internal, subjective experience of my environment. I find that working with photography grounds the work in objective experience, while the printmaking element further abstracts it, dislocates it, and situates it in a more subconscious or subjective realm.
To see more of Thea’s work, head on over to http://thea-reid-prints.tumblr.com/